Greek 101
Learning an Ancient Language

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36 episodes in this series

Episode 1 The Greek Alphabet & Pronunciation
Learn the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet using the restored classical pronunciation, recognizing that there was some variation in pronunciation in the ancient world. Practice the pairings of vowels…
Episode 2 First-Declension Nouns
Discover that Greek nouns have gender and their endings supply a host of information, such as whether the case is nominative, genitive, dative, or accusative--a function usually performed by word…
Episode 3 Basic Rules of Greek Accentuation
Invented over two thousand years ago by Aristophanes of Byzantium, head of the Library of Alexandria, accents are important clues to the pronunciation of Greek words, and they often provide…
Episode 4 Additional Patterns of the First Declension
Look at two variations in the pattern of the first declension--one used in Homeric Greek and the other in Koine, the Greek of the New Testament. Despite being separated by…
Episode 5 Verbs in the Present Tense
Greek verbs can be described in terms of person, number, tense, voice, and mood. In this lesson, focus on verbs that are present active indicative. Learn that voice, person, and…
Episode 6 Adjective Forms & Second-Declension Nouns
So far, you have studied first-declension nouns, which are mainly feminine. Now expand your range into masculine and neuter nouns, many of which use second-declension endings. Practice these endings together…
Episode 7 Building Basic Translation Skills
Review what you have learned up until now. Then try your hand at translating from English to Greek--first into Homeric Greek and then into Koine, noticing the key differences between…
Episode 8 First- & Second-Declension Pronouns
Delve deeper into the first and second declensions, discovering that the endings for demonstrative adjectives and pronouns differ in only minor ways from those for nouns. Practice using different types…
Episode 9 Verbs in the Imperfect Tense
Greek has several ways of talking about the past. Focus on the imperfect tense, which describes an action that was ongoing in the past--for example, "The Achaeans were dishonoring the…
Episode 10 Verbs in the Future & Aorist Tenses
Learn two new tenses: the future and aorist. In the process, encounter the concept of principal parts, which are indispensable for recognizing different tenses. Concentrate on the first three principal…
Episode 11 First-Declension Masculine Nouns
Although first declension nouns are generally feminine, some masculine nouns also fall into this class. Learn how to recognize them (as well as the declensions of all nouns) from the…
Episode 12 The Root Aorist
The aorist is a past tense that makes no reference to the duration or completion of an action, and focuses instead on the simple act. In Lesson 10, you learned…
Episode 13 Third-Declension Nouns
Encounter the third and final declension, focusing, as usual, on the genitive, which is the key to identifying the declension. This is especially important with the third declension, since the…
Episode 14 Understanding Dactylic Hexameter
Read the first five lines of Homer's Iliad, focusing on vocabulary and grammar. Then investigate the quality that makes Homer a great poet: his use of sound and meter. Homer…
Episode 15 Practicing Dactylic Hexameter
Practice reciting the first five lines of the Iliad, hearing how the meter enhances the meaning of the text. Then study third declension neuter endings, and read three verses of…
Episode 16 The Middle/Passive Voice
Go deeper into Homer with lines 6-10 of the Iliad. Then discover the middle and passive voices. The passive operates as in English, with the subject receiving the action of…
Episode 17 Aorist & Imperfect Middle/Passive
In the previous lesson, you learned the primary middle/passive endings, which are used for the present and future tenses. Now compare these to the secondary middle/passive endings, which are used…
Episode 18 Perfect & Pluperfect Active
Learn the fourth principal part, which governs the formation of the perfect and pluperfect tenses. Discover the great utility of these past tenses for talking about completed action. Study an…
Episode 19 Forming and Using Infinitives
Study the fifth principal part, which forms the basis of the perfect and pluperfect middle/passive, and the sixth and final principal part, which forms the basis of the aorist passive.…
Episode 20 Active Participles
Participles are verbal adjectives. Like verbs, they have tense and voice. Like adjectives, they agree in case, number, and gender with the nouns they modify. Learn to form participles in…
Episode 21 Middle/Passive Participles
Move on to middle/passive participles. Greek participles pack a lot of meaning into a single word that may require an entire clause to translate into English. Look at examples from…
Episode 22 The Perfect System in the Middle/Passive
Learn to form the perfect, pluperfect, and future perfect middle/passive tenses on the basis of the fifth principal part. Study examples in Matthew and Luke. Then read lines 33-37 of…
Episode 23 The Subjunctive Mood
Turn from the indicative mood to the subjunctive mood, which denotes situations that are doubtful, wishful, purposeful, or fearful. Subjunctives are easily recognized by their long vowel that precedes (or…
Episode 24 The Imperative Mood, Active
Encounter the imperative mood--the verb construction used for commands. Study the imperative endings in the present and aorist tenses. Find three aorist commands in Luke 22:36, and even more as…
Episode 25 The Imperative Mood, Middle/Passive
Learn to form imperatives in the middle/passive, looking at examples in Matthew 3:2 and John 14:1. Note that in Homeric Greek the imperative and other verb endings tend to be…
Episode 26 The Optative Mood
The last of the moods is the optative, which expresses a wish--as in line 42 of the Iliad, where the priest Chryses implores Apollo, "May the Danaans requite my tears...."…
Episode 27 The Aorist Passive
Delve deeper into the aorist passive, which was introduced in Lesson 19. This tense may sound exotic, but it's a workhorse in Greek sentences. For example, study the string of…
Episode 28 Third-Declension Adjectives
In the next four lessons, return to the declension of adjectives and pronouns to explore variations on patterns you have already practiced. In this lesson, focus on third-declension adjectives. Close…
Episode 29 Demonstrative Adjectives & Pronouns
Investigate the use of Greek demonstrative adjectives and pronouns, which correspond to English words such as this, that, these, and those. Chart a rich sampling of demonstratives, including a reflexive…
Episode 30 Personal & Possessive Pronouns
Plumb the depths of Greek personal and possessive pronouns. Begin with the historically later forms of the New Testament, revisiting the Lord's Prayer in Matthew. Then focus on the pronouns…
Episode 31 Relative, Interrogative & Indefinite Pronouns
Conclude your exploration of Greek pronouns with interrogative, indefinite, and relative pronouns. These are words such as who, which, and what; and, for indefinite pronouns, someone, something, and similar unspecific…
Episode 32 Regular -μι Verbs in the Active
Bring your study of Greek verbs to a close by focusing on an important class of verbs that end in mi in the first principal part. There aren't many such…
Episode 33 Regular -μι Verbs in the Middle/Passive
Extend your exploration of mi verbs, studying the middle passive, which is more regular than the active voice covered in the previous lesson. Note examples of mi verbs in Luke…
Episode 34 Review of Regular -μι Verbs
Search for the features that distinguish mi verbs from the verb forms encountered earlier in the course, whose first principal part ends in o. Resume your study of the Lord's…
Episode 35 The Verb εἰμί
The most common mi verb is also one of the most irregular: to be. Study its forms, discovering that, as unpredictable as it appears, it is more regular than its…
Episode 36 Irregular Verbs & Tips for Further Study
Learn two more irregular verbs, to go and to know, seeing them at work in sentences from John and Matthew. Then complete your last passage from the Iliad, lines 118-125,…

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